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March 23, 2023

Unprecedented situation: vote in Senator Dan Sova case may be repeated as CCR rules Senate resolution unconstitutional

PSD Senator and ex-Transport & Major Projects Minister Dan Sova’s controversial case of abuse of office, continues to give birth to premieres for the Legislative Body, as the vote given by the Senate in the matter of his immunity was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Wednesday. CCR sustained the claim made by PNL against the resolution of the Senate not to approve the detention and preventive arrest of the senator.

CCR President Augustin Zegrean read out the ruling handed down on Wednesday. The text notes that the resolution of the Senate in the Dan Sova case was unconstitutional as it had been adopted under legal provisions and under a regulation that were against the Constitution.

Asked by the journalists if CCR had also indicated to the Senate the way to follow, Zegrean answered: ‘No, we will not indicate the way to follow because the Senate knows what it needs to do, they do not need us telling them what to do’.

Asked if a new vote would be taken in the Dan Sova case, the CCR president answered: ‘I have shared with you the context of our decision, thank you,’ refusing to make any speculations on what the Senate would do.

CCR motivated in a press release the fact that the resolution of the Senate of 25 March 2015 in the Dan Sova case was unconstitutional ‘because it was adopted under legal provisions and regulations that were against Section 76, paragraph 2 of the Constitution’.

The ruling is final and binding and is communicated to the Senate. The argumentation retained in the motivation of the ruling handed down by the Constitutional Court will be presented in the body of the decision’, which will be published in the Official Journal.

DNA has asked for the detention and arrest of Dan Sova in the case of the energy plants of Turceni and Rovinari. The investigators claim the total damage in the case was over RON 71 M. Sova was charged with three offences of complicity in abuse of office.

On 25 March, during the vote in the plenary of the Senate, out of the 151 votes expressed on the request regarding Sova, 79 were in favour, 67 opposed and five votes were annulled. On 23 April, PNL made a claim before the Constitutional Court that the resolution of the Senate was not constitutional.


Calin Popescu Tariceanu: ‘Senate will obey’


Asked to comment on the ruling of the Court and indicate what the Senate would do next, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said he would not comment on the ruling in any way until the argumentation of the CCR was published in the Official Journal.

‘First of all, I can tell you that, no matter the CCR decision, the Senate shall abide by it. Until the decision of the Court is published we cannot make any comments and we will proceed under the Regulation. We will analyse the motivation, will notify the Legal Committee and will act accordingly’, Calin Popescu Tariceanu said.

The speaker of the Senate refused to say anything on the possibility of a new vote in the matter of approving Senator Dan Sova’s detention or preventive arrest, in spite of the journalists’ insistency.

The Sova case is a premiere, the Legal Committee being put in difficulty ever since the beginning of the scandal by the fact that the number of votes in favour of the arrest was sufficient under the Constitution, but insufficient according to the Senate Regulation. The Regulation of the Senate was afterwards harmonised with the Constitution.


Alina Gorghiu: ‘CCR ruling must be urgently enforced’


After the decision in the Sova case had been ruled unconstitutional, Alina Gorghiu asked for Tariceanu’s resignation, according to a release sent to realitatea.net on Wednesday

‘Romanians can see, again, that PSD only knows how to exercise power through abuse. PSD and Calin Popescu Tariceanu have suspended the Constitution for the sake of Senator Sova for one and a half month. The PSD-Tariceanu anti-justice front has resorted to all sorts of tricks to keep Mr. Sova a super-citizen. The interpretation given by this coalition to the vote of the Senate was unconstitutional. It refused to formalise the result of the vote in a resolution that could be challenged before CCR. It hastily am\ended the Regulation of the Senate as well as the Statute of Deputies and Senators in order to void or subject the Liberals’ claim before the Constitutional Court. Forced by the Constitutional Court and the Superior Council of Magistrates, they eventually adopted an unconstitutional resolution that denies what’s obvious: the Senate voted to grant DNA’s requests in Siva’s case and not to reject them. It’s been one and a half month since PSD and Tariceanu have been playing hide-and-seek with the Constitution. The CCR decision must be urgently enforced, although playing by the rules is not at all an easy thing to PSD. The Sova case is an extra abuse counting against the premier and PSD. It’s one more piece of proof that PSD does not want to straighten up no matter how many lessons the voters teaches them. Following the CCR decision, PNL is of the opinion that an absolutely necessary step for the rehabilitation of the Senate of Romania is a new leader. Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu has compromised the image of the Senate for long enough. The only useful thing we expect him to do is resign office’, the PNL release states.


MEP Cristian Preda: ‘Vote in Dan Sova case must be repeated’


Following the decision of the Constitutional Court in Dan Sova’s case on Wednesday, EPP MEP Cristian Preda wrote on Facebook that the vote must be repeated.

‘Following the CCR decision given in the Sova case today, the vote should be repeated. On the other hand, Tariceanu should withdraw not just from his post as Speaker of the Senate, but also from politics. He’s blown it!’ Preda said.

As for the vote by the PSD members accused by the Opposition of making the decisive difference in protecting Dan Sova during the previous vote, they seem to have already established the strategy to follow should the vote be repeated. ‘PSD leadership sources have explained to us that, first of all, they would agree to a new vote in the Sova case in the Senate, not to be blamed for not abiding by the decisions of the Constitutional Court’, stiripesurse.ro say. ‘In the Senate, PSD will play differently this time. The secret vote by balls will be organised in booths, so the vote will not only be a secret one, but also inside those booths. PSD has already made the decision: Dan Sova will be saved by the vote in the Senate. Practically, PSD will avoid a scandal like the previous one, when the media video-recorded the voting and identified the senators who had saved Dan Sova’, the source also notes.


PM Ponta : The Senate must enforce the CCR ruling


Premier Victor Ponta said on Wednesday, on the fact that the Senate’s decision in the Dan Sova case had been ruled unconstitutional by CCR, that the Senate would comply with the decision of the Constitutional Court.

‘The Senate must enforce the CCR ruling whatever it may be. It will abide by the Constitutional Court ruling’, said the premier.


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